China's Zhang reaches historic last eight at Madrid Open

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-05-03 10:51
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Zhang Zhizhen returns the ball during the match. [Photo/Xinhua]

MADRID -- Zhang Zhizhen continued his historic run at the Madrid Open, upsetting No 8 seed Taylor Fritz of the United States on Tuesday and becoming the first player from the Chinese mainland to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP 1000 tournament.

The 26-year-old, who had previously stunned Canadian player Denis Shapovalov and Britain's 11th seed Cameron Norrie in the prior two rounds, recorded his first Top 10 win against Fritz.

Zhang recovered from a set down and saved three match points to triumph in a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8) thriller.

"Again, a comeback, very tough. I am so happy to hold on to the end," Zhang said. "The fans on the court were great, and I will continue to fight for them."

Following the win, Zhang's live ranking has risen to No. 66. He will face Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who eliminated second seed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

"I'll tell you a secret. We had a practice, and I lost 6-0," Zhang commented about Karatsev. "Here everyone is a great player. They all have some very good results. I will try to do the best that I can do." 

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